Wednesday, October 30, 2019

what's up Wednesday

Happy Wednesday, friends!  I'm linking up with Shay from Mix and Match Mama and Shaeffer from Shaeffer Told Me To for this post, so I'll just jump right in.

What we're eating this week:

This giant pot FULL of chicken tortilla soup!  I made a huge batch of this last night, and three of us were home to eat it.  Three.  I'm rolling my eyes at this.  Drew and I may be the only two that love this so much, but it should freeze really well, so I may end up having to do that. 

What I'm reminiscing about:

Halloween's gone by, like this picture from a whole decade ago.  It's really strange not having any participants in this anymore, but they've aged out and it'll just be another normal night.  I'll hand out some candy if the weather permits, along with my best friend hopefully, and I'll just buy an additional bag for my sons to share.  We used to do this huge family night and get together for this, but we don't really do that anymore since nobody trick or treats these days. 

What I'm loving:

We're still in the process of doing a home remodel, and we're still loving our new windows!  We love opening them on the cooler nights and sleeping with them that way. 

What we've been up to:

See above and home remodel.  Along with everyone working, church responsibilities and the like.  Oh, and three of them busy with school work. 

What I'm dreading:

The end of the holiday season.  I know it sounds funny to dread that, but I would really love to hover in the weeks between Thanksgiving and a few days before Christmas.  They're magical. 

What I'm working on:

Writing more.  The Lord keeps on giving me opportunities for this, and I want to be faithful to Him in doing this.  I just prayed a few minutes ago, thanking Him for the doors He seems to keep opening, and asking Him to guide me in what I write.  I know that if I had to just depend on myself, I would never be able to write at all, but He is always so good and kind to use my quiet times to inspire me. 

What I'm excited about:

Next weekend!  We have a friend getting married near the coast in Mississippi, and we're taking a road trip for the weekend to attend.  Graham is in the wedding, so we need to be there by early afternoon on Friday, and we'll come back home Sunday afternoon.  We didn't go anywhere this year, so I'm really looking forward to some quality time together. 

What I'm watching/reading:

This was me on Saturday night.  The guys were watching football, and I was in the kitchen watching a Hallmark Christmas movie.  I love this time of year! 

I read a lot last week, and have not picked up a book in a week.  I need to be reading the library books I have on hand before I have to return them next week.  In my quiet time, I just finished Hebrews and am moving on to James today. 

What I'm listening to:

Christmas choir music.  And These Christmas Lights by Matt Redman.

What I'm wearing:

Well, this was Mom and me yesterday.

Twinning with the animal prints.

What I'm doing this weekend:

My hubby and oldest son are working all weekend, beginning tomorrow.  So, I'll have the tv all to myself.  I'm also trying to convince myself to paint. 

What I'm looking forward to next month:

Getting my hair colored and trimmed/reshaped on Monday!  My mop needs some serious help. 

And putting up Christmas! 

What else is new:

I think that pretty much sums everything up. 

Thanks for reading!  Love to all. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

weekending & Simply Tuesday Things

It's funny how sometimes a whole week goes by before I even realize it.  It's been that long since I've posted, and a lot went on in all those days.  It's been a little hectic over here, which seems to be my new normal.  Just a few months ago, it seemed like I was at home all the time, never doing much of anything.  And then God...and then I could just stop right there.  It seems like the Lord keeps on giving me opportunities for new things, and for that I'm grateful.  But more on that in a few minutes.

I thought I'd start with this.  Sometimes the Timehop app and Facebook memories just about knock me over.  This is one such picture.  We were on a camping trip with a bunch of people one year, and this little guy was part of one of the families.  He was so young here, and it was a combined effort in keeping vigil over him and helping keep him occupied.  And then, insert my middle son, Drew.  This is my son who is in nursing school and whose dream is to someday work at St. Jude Hospital here in Memphis.  He definitely has a calling on his life, and he has always loved kids of all ages.  He also works at a Christian daycare, and has been there for almost one year, and he LOVES his job.  And the kids love him. 

This was me Saturday night.  And Friday night, for that matter.  I love watching the Hallmark Christmas movies, and thanks to my best friend, I can do this all throughout the next two months.  Woohoo!

I saw another of my best friends today!  She just had a baby and I loved getting to see her, and her precious kiddos!  Any day I get to play with a cute kid and snuggle a baby is a good day in my book.  I worked at our church for a little while today, and this was after that.  I came home to eat lunch and then I stayed here until almost five. 

I mean, LOOK.  His little face is so precious.  I am a sucker for a baby's mouth and profile.  I love him and his big sister so much. 

I just shared this on social media tonight, but I'll share it here, too.  I would love for you to come to this, if you're local to me!  There are a few tables left with seats at them, so if you're interested in this, sign up quick!  Here is a link for you, should you want to join us.  The blue links are tables listed that still have seats available.  The tickets are $25, and your dinner is included, along with a performance by our guest artist, Jonny Diaz.  Childcare is free, should you need that.

I'm really excited about it~or, I will be once the time arrives.  I always consider this to be the kick-off event of the holiday season. 

As for the simply Tuesday things...I'm spending part of the day with my mom.  I never got to do that last week, and I missed our day out together.  We always eat lunch and find fun things to get into and imagine together.  The last time we spent a day together like this was the day we browsed all the Christmas aisles at Hobby Lobby.  At some point in the day, I need to make a really quick stop at Kroger for a few things pertaining to dinner. 

I'm looking forward to it. 

Earlier I mentioned how the Lord keeps giving me opportunities to do new things, and last week I applied to be a permanent staff writer for an online magazine, Tirzah Magazine.  I've been writing for them lately, but this is more permanent, in that I'll be a regular contributor.  Along with that, I'm starting something new at our church involving me writing even more, and I couldn't be more thrilled and grateful if I tried.  I never want to take these things for granted, and the Lord is always faithful to answer my prayers in His perfect timing.  It seems like when I took a step out in faith and in obedience to what He was offering to me, things like this started happening. 

Before these latest things happened, I started writing a series of children's books based upon one of our dogs, and though I submitted it to several publishing houses, and they all wanted to publish it, it is very expensive to do that kind of thing, and rather than wait around to see how it all would play out and go back and forth with them over deadlines and contracts, I put all of that on a back burner for now.  I may pick it up again at a later date, but for now, I want my writing to be more intentional than the series of children's books I started on.  Like I said, the ideas are all still there and I actually wrote one full book already, and I've started on several others, but for now, I feel like I need to let go of that idea.  Notice I said "for now".  If the Lord wants me to pick it all back up again, I will, and I'll reevaluate from there.  He will provide to me the path He wants me to be on, and it's exciting to get to fully lean on and trust on Him. 

Whoever said the life of a believer is boring never knows how false that statement is.  It's the exact opposite.  I live life with open hands, and in full surrender to God.  What He wants me to do, I'll do, and that is thrilling! 

Well, thanks for reading, friends.  Love to all. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

simply Tuesday

It's Tuesday, and I always love these days.  Lately for me, they've meant a day of slowing down, catching up on all the things, reading, cleaning, cooking, scheduling.  Monday used to be the day I did that kind of thing, but since I started working a couple of days each week, it's become Tuesday that I do this. 

I'll share more about this in a minute, on what my day looks like, but first, I want to write about yesterday.  My mom in love and I spent the day together.  I mentioned yesterday that she's having surgery on Wednesday, and I still owed her birthday present to her, so we spent the day doing fun things.  I picked her up (because we're all car sharing right now), and we went and had lunch first.  I was so hungry!  She didn't mind, and we both had the best broccoli cheese soup, and I had half a pimento cheese sandwich with mine.  After lunch, we visited Ulta, which was right next door, and I got some new facial toner I've been wanting to try.  It's a sample size, and it was cheap.  Bonus! 

From there we went to one of Phyllis' favorite stores, Home Centric.  I bought a candle, but I'm kinda disappointed in it, because I can't even smell it while it's burning.  They have really cute things there, though, and I may go back closer to Christmas.  After Home Centric, we got pedicures at my favorite place to get them in The Ville, which is so much like being at a spa, but the prices are reasonable.  She and Wiley had dinner with us, too, which turned out to be pizza.  It was a really fun day. 

Today my plans include washing ALL THE LAUNDRY (there's mountains), sheets, blankets, and cleaning the house.  I also hope to paint the trim on the kitchen windows...and I for real want to get started on painting the hallways this week.  I picked the color and now I just need to buy it and start.  Some of the boys are going to a gun range tonight, and some of them are staying home.  I'll be here, watching more shows, most likely.  I caught up on a few of them Sunday night while I was here alone.  And I may read some...I'm starting book number fifty eight of 2019. 

What are your plans today?  I'd love to hear! 

Thanks for reading, love to all!

Monday, October 21, 2019


Have you ever had the Monday-est Monday ever?  That was what today has been for me so far.  It's all better now, but by seven fifteen a.m., we were all up and downstairs and the dogs thought it was play time.  We had some storms come through and the tornado sirens were going off for a while, for our area, and then we lost our power for about an hour.  The weather passed, the power came back on, and I went to work for a few minutes then came back home before leaving for the rest of the day. 

I thought I'd give a little weekend recap on what went on around here, which isn't too much, but it was lovely. 

Am I a terrible person for sneaking pictures like this of my dad?  I made us lunch, because it was chilly out, and this was us, eating.  Toddley was home, too, waiting on an inspector to come, and he ate with us.  Dad and I ate roasted red pepper/tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.  Todd ate the lunch I had packed for him, plus he wouldn't have like that soup.

After this, we sat and talked and solved all the world's problems (we just decided that the whole world need Jesus), and then around three, I took him home.  I visited with him and Sandy when I dropped him off, because I haven't seen her in forever, it seems. 

That night, Todd and I ate at our favorite Chinese buffet here in The Ville, then he went to Lowe's to pick something up.  That's his new home away from home.  I finished a book. 

On Saturday, I read TWO WHOLE books.  I'm stuck on one author right now, and I devoured four of her books last week alone.  I'm starting the fifth by her today.  Todd and Graham worked with the sheriff's department that night, and my bestie Christa came over for a girl's night in.  We ordered take out and watched a movie and caught up.  It was glorious! 

This was me around two, with my homemade pumpkin spice latte (SO much better than Starbucks) and starting book two of the day. 

Sunday I had to go put gas in my car before I went to church.  (I'm rolling my eyes.)  Church was so good yesterday!  It always is.  I was back at three for praise team/choir practice, then at five thirty, I was leaving again.

My home away from home. 

I had pizza for dinner, Todd and Graham worked again, and the rest of the boys were in and out.  I caught up on New Amsterdam and went to bed shortly after. 

It was a perfect weekend.  For the rest of the day, I'm spending it with my mom in love.  I owe her the birthday present we got for her (a pedicure) and we're going today because she will be having surgery on Wednesday.  It's nothing major, but surgery is always scary, so if you think of her, please pray for her along with me.  Her name is Phyllis.  This way, her toes will look pretty while she recovers.  We're also having dinner together tonight, because it's been months, it seems, since we've spent time with them. 

Thanks for reading!  Love to all. 

Friday, October 18, 2019

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, Friends!  I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals, and her friend Erika and Narci, for this blog post. 

My first favorite thing about this whole past week has been the weather.  Some of the day haven't been quite as cool as I like it, but I will take anything I can get, and anything beats ninety-five degrees in October.  It was cold enough at night that I pulled out my favorite blanket and adorned the end of our bed with it.  Isn't it pretty?  It looks so inviting and cozy.  My sister bought me this one year for my birthday, and I keep it there from now until when it turns warm in the spring.

Our new windows are also still my favorite, and I think we had every window upstairs open last night.  Praise!  Fall and winter are my favorite seasons. 

I can finally share this now that the parents shared it on social media, but last Friday, I had to leave home very abruptly when my friend Abbey texted to say she was in labor.  I packed a bag to spend the night at her house and stayed until they got back home.  Once she got to the hospital and was still, the contractions stopped, so they sent her home.  I was gone until about nine that night.  Tuesday was when she ended up having the baby.  I spent the whole day with this sweet little one, and we played our little hearts out all day long.  We sang songs, listened to Christmas choir music that I need to learn, read books, played with toys, rocked, and cuddled. 

She is one of the sweetest little girls I have ever known, and she is being raised by some pretty incredible parents!  They have done such a great job with her.  I dressed her up all cute and drove her to the hospital to go meet her new baby brother.  (I even put a bow in her hair, which she promptly pulled out and threw in my car, and I still can't find it...but I had a second one, just in case!)

And then I got to meet little Asher!  Best day ever.  This little boy is HUGE!  He weighed a whopping ten pounds, four ounces. 

Babies are my favorite. 

I visited my happy place this week, and got several books by one of my favorite authors.

And already read one and a half of them. 

I went out with my mom on Wednesday, and we went to our favorite store to look at all things Christmas.  (Hobby Lobby!)  My favorite event at church is coming up soon, and Mom is decorating the table for me.  I'm so glad, too, because I was having a hard time deciding what to do this year. 

I've enjoyed my Timehop memories this week.  Three years ago, we were in New York City, and it was one of my favorite things we have ever done together.  Looking back, that week seems magical, and we got to do everything I wanted to do.  My husband worked so hard to make it all come together, and it was the best trip ever.

  I'll end with last night.  One of my very best friends and I had a little girl's night out, and we thoroughly enjoyed our favorite Mexican restaurant.  Then, Andrea had the bright idea to go to Home Goods, because she was looking for a candle.  At one point, I was waiting on her to find me and sat down in one of their chairs, and when she found me, she sat beside me.  The only problem is that these chairs were on pallets, and one of the legs on hers was off the side, and then the chair tried to kill her. 

I mean, she caught herself before she completely fell, but I just about died laughing.  Poor Andrea. 

Any night with her is always my favorite, and I can always count on her for a good laugh. 

Well, I have groceries waiting on me at Kroger, so I need to run and get dressed.  Have a great weekend!  Love to all. 

Thursday, October 17, 2019

friends, books, spare time, and life

I was looking back on some early posts that I wrote on this blog, and between that and chatting with someone about blogging and why I do this, I have been reminiscing.  I also started playing around with the way this blog looks and I changed it up a little.  Most people probably no longer read this from a real computer, but that's the only way you can see some changes I made to the old blog in the last couple of days.  Speaking of reading from a real computer versus using just your phone, if you get on a real computer, you can see the blogs I love listed on the right side, and that I've been reading for years.  Several of them have been around doing this since around the same time I started this blog, which dates all the way back to 2007, when my kiddos were a mere nine, eight, and four years old.  I was telling someone the other day that even though I like the WordPress blog site better than this one (Blogger), I could never change, because all those posts wouldn't transfer.  And I would cry if I lost them.

Because the reason I write all this is for my own benefit.  Mostly, I use this as a way of just keeping track of things.  Some people do pictures, some do baby books, I blog.  The second and most important reason why I write on this space is to share about Jesus, and I pray that what I write always points to Him.  Sometimes I don't know what to write, or I'll wonder why I even still bother with this thing, and then I'll pray and the Lord will give me an idea to write about.  Other ways the Lord has used this blog in my own life is by reading books.  I don't know how certain authors have gotten my name and blog address, but I've had some of my favorite authors reach out to me about reading and reviewing their books.  Sometimes I'll write a blog post, other times I'll just review on Amazon or GoodReads.  Whatever they ask for, I'll do, because it gets me a free copy of their book.  Just yesterday was the day when, three years ago, Robin Jones Gunn's personal assistant emailed me about my blog, and asked me to write about three of her books.  And then they sent me all three copies which were autographed.

I think that's cool, and I'm not sure how it's all happened, but I'm thankful for it and don't want to take it for granted.  I've also done this for Karen Kingsbury, David Platt, Max Lucado, Anne Graham Lotz, Beth Moore, Kelly Minter, Lisa Harper and maybe one or two others.  The common denominator with all those authors is that they write bible studies, or what is considered Christian fiction/non-fiction.

I blame part of my book problem on this blog.

Anyway, I didn't know what to write about today, so I thought I'd share a little about this old blog, and a few other things.  Also, before I started writing this post, I was thinking about last night, which leads me to the topic of friends.  Every Wednesday night, a few friends and I go out after church.  We call this Fries and Friends, but last night we called it Friends and Chips, because we switched up the location.  I'm so grateful for this life I live with such godly friends all around me.  We're not perfect, trust me, but we love Jesus and we love to talk about Him and we love to encourage each other.  I don't ever want to take these women in my life for granted, because so many I know don't have this in their life.  I pray for them, when I think of that, because life is hard, and I cannot imagine life without such women.  The ones that I interact with the most have come from either church or from a bible study group.  I thank God for these women, and I pray for them all regularly.

Another thing on friends, before moving on...a couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my sons and how they've been struggling with this issue of friends.  I hesitated to write that for weeks, because though I'd not written about it before, it had been going on for months.  I didn't want to be all dramatic about it, though, which was why I hesitated so much before writing it and hitting that "publish" button.  But I did write it, and I even shared it on social media, and I can't even remember how many people reached out to me about that.  I already mentioned how I like to pray before I write here, and I asked God to use that on the day I wrote that post, and I believe He did use it to encourage me, for one, but also several others.  Several people private messaged me in the days following that, and it led to some really good conversations about moving forward from here.  Nothing has changed yet, and at this point, I don't expect it to, but we've all excepted that life looks different these days for my youngest sons.  I'm okay with it now, though, and I know God will use this in their lives to grow them into faithful men.

I think I mentioned that I have a book problem.  That being said, I have lots of books waiting to be read.  Lately I've been in such a book slump that I have started trying to read what I have laying around, "trying" being the operative word.  I've not been successful though, and was relieved that after a visit to the local library on Monday, this has changed.  I read a book in three hours that night.  I couldn't put it down if I tried, but I didn't want to try, so I kept just going.  I plan on spending the majority of today reading more.  I like to keep track of what I read, thanks to my sweet friend Andrea who gave me a pretty journal a few years ago, and the book I am currently on is book number 55 of 2019.  I'm way ahead of the goal I set to read more than I did in 2018...I think I'm already twenty five books ahead of how many I read in 2018.  My goal was to watch less Netflix/Hulu and to read more.

Last week I finished my last week of bible study that I've been doing on the book of Galatians.  A friend of mine wrote this study, and this was part one of the book, and I've been sad that it was over.  I'm looking for something to do for the remaining weeks of 2019.  I kinda prefer going verse by verse, but I am open to suggestions, if you have any.  I've got a couple of studies laying around that I've not yet done, but I don't know if I can go from slowly going verse by verse, to being spoon fed what other people have come up with.  I was browsing through Kay Arthur's website this morning, because that's what I'm leaning toward.  With that in mind, I think I'll stop right here and go do that some more.  Plus, laundry is calling my name.  And the grocery store.  I have to go there soon.

So thanks for reading!  Love to all.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Wednesday & and some other random thoughts

I love reading the word of God.  I never used to do this, most of my life, until I reached my early to mid twenties.  I never knew the importance of reading God's word, and that everything I need for life is found within those pages.  I never want to take this for granted, and when I take the time to first thank the Lord for His word, I think of my brothers and sisters in the faith all around the world, that don't have this privilege, and I stop and pray for them. 

Today my quiet time found me in Hebrews chapter four.  The verse that jumped out to be was verse 9--

"Therefore, a Sabbath rest remains for God's people."

There is all kinds of context there, but I think the reason this verse jumped out is because I woke up tired today.  It's been a really busy past few days and weeks, and each week, I require myself to have one full day at home doing nothing but praying, reading the word of God, catching up on bible study homework, doing laundry and cleaning and straightening up our house.  If I don't do that, if I over-commit myself to being gone a whole bunch, then I quickly become depleted.  And then I become grumpy, and before I know it, the enemy is thriving in my being overly busy and distracted and exhausted.  It's a vicious cycle.  I know most people don't have that luxury of taking one whole day like that, but if you can somehow squeeze that in, you'll never be sorry. 

I MUST be in the word of God every single day.  I desperately need Him and His word, and when I miss out on this time with Him, everyone around me knows.  I'm different after spending time with Him everyday.  I hope this encourages someone to spend time with Him today.

In other news...

My mom called me this morning, and immediately I thought that I would see her today.  I love this about her.  I think if I were to have her take a quiz to find out her love language, surely, quality time would be one of her top love languages.  I know it's my top one, and I love most that I get to do random things with her, of the everyday sort, like grocery shopping and hitting up the local Lowe's to buy paint samples.  (I never got around to that this weekend.)  We're also going to Lobby Lobby (what my boys used to call Hobby Lobby) to be inspired for our upcoming event at church called Tablescapes.  Mom was inspired yesterday, and I love her ideas, so we're doing what she suggested and seeing if we can get any other ideas from our favorite store.

Today is my sister Debi's birthday!

Aren't these three sisters of mine beautiful?  I thank God for them all!  I found this old picture from my niece's wedding a few years ago and shared it this morning in honor of Debi (front and center).  Debi is SO MUCH FUN to be with and she makes me laugh like nobody else.  My boys have always adored this auntie and we never get to see her often enough.  She is also one of the most kind and giving people I know, and she would literally give you the shirt off her back.  I've complimented her jewelry before, and she has given it to me!  She does things like that all the time, and speaking of love languages, hers is definitely gift giving.  She also has the gift of hospitality, and staying with her feels like a personal retreat.  If you're reading this, I love you, Sissy! 

I went to my happy place on Wednesday after work, and got a whole stack of books to read.  I came home and promptly read one of them already.  It was so good! I hesitate to share the author, because there is language, so....anyhow. 

Well, my mom is on here way here, so I have to run and make my bed and get dressed.  Y'all have a great day.  Thanks for reading and love to all! 

Monday, October 14, 2019

weekending/ Hello Monday

Happy Monday!  I'm linking up with Tanya over at The Other Side of the Road, and her friends, for this blog post. 

The weekend got off to an exciting start~one of my best friends thought she was going to have her baby that night, but her contractions stopped after they got to the hospital and they came back home.  I am "on call" for when this happens, and I packed a bag and went to her house right away.  Though I hated that there was no baby for them and sad to see them come back home, I had fun with their little girl and we played all night.  I came back home around eight thirty and watched tv for a little while.  Todd was at work, Noah had worked that night until seven thirty, and the other ones were hanging out with friends.

On Saturday, I went to Costco for some things.  The weather turned cool over the weekend (PRAISE HANDS!) and I got to wear cozy things all weekend. 

I bought this olive green cardigan a couple of weeks ago from Marshall's, and it was on clearance for $12.  I love when that happens!  It's really long and soft, and I came home and changed after Costco, into comfy clothes and threw this over the leggings and t-shirt I had on.  Also, my nails are really long for me.  I've been getting them done with the dip powder, and it's making them stronger.  It's a gentler process than the shellac I was getting.  And I can go for three weeks between visits, which is nice, since it's a little more expensive.

We stayed home the rest of Saturday, with Toddley watching football all day, and me trying to read a book.  (I'm in a rut.)  I went to bed early, and look at what I get to crawl into every night. 

I love when the weather is cool enough to pull out my favorite blanket to add to the end of our bed.  It's so cozy!  We've been sleeping with my window open, and the boys have been opening theirs as well.  We're still loving our new windows. 

I was at church early with Toddley yesterday morning, and then we came home and ate lunch.  I squeezed in a fifteen minute nap after meeting with my stepdad here about him building our new porch covering, and then I was back at church at three for choir practice.  After that I came home, and we ordered pizza for dinner.  Drew had some friends over to hang out for the day, and after we all ate pizza together, they left to go play football.  I finally found a book to read that is holding my interest, so I read for a while before calling it a night and going upstairs.  It was a great weekend.

Today I'm going to our church for a while to work, and then I'm going to the library and to Kroger.  I need to figure out what's for dinner for tonight before I make the Kroger run, so hopefully I'll think of something.  In the meantime, I need to start on laundry and get dressed for the day.  Thanks for reading!  Love to all. 

Friday, October 11, 2019

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends!  I'm linking up with Andrea  from Momfessionals, and her friends Erika and Narci, for this blog post. 

This week FLEW BY.  We had our new windows installed this week, and they're my favorite thing ever.  You should see our house, though...the outside of it looks terrible, because he threw the shutters away and took down the awnings that were covering the front and back porches.  I like to turn on my porch light every afternoon, late in the day, but I haven't been because I don't want to draw attention to how terrible it looks.  I'm trying to remind myself that it's only temporary...and that at least they're done with being inside the house now, so I can clean and we can start painting.  I'm going to buy paint samples tomorrow.  Praise hands!

Here is what I walked into Monday afternoon, after working for a little while at the church, then having lunch with my friend at her house and catching up.

But then, look what it was like the next morning.

I love them.  They're so clean and beautiful, and they're easy to open.  They're the kind that open from the bottom AND the top, for easy cleaning, and the screens are our favorite part.  We've been enjoying open windows at night and in the mornings.  We haven't been able to do that in sixteen years!  All the old windows were painted shut. 

In doing home renovations, and then painting a portion of our inside walls, it's making me want to change things up on the walls, and last Friday night, I redid the wall above our couch in the living room.  I had a collage of pictures above it, but all of a sudden, I no longer liked the way it looked, so I took it all down.  I am not getting rid of any of the pictures, though, because when we paint the halls that connect all the rooms in the house, the stairwell is getting redone and I am taking down all the crosses people have given me over the years.  (This started with one, and escalated into a whole wall of them.)  I'm keeping them and I might hang my favorite ones in a couple of areas around the house, but my plan is to do a picture collage on the stairwell when we're done painting it.  Something kinda like this.

The stairs are one of my favorite parts of my house.  They're painted black, and there is a runner nailed down on top of the middle part of them.  I have a picture hallway in the upstairs part of the house, and I'm taking all of those, along with what I just took down from the living room collage wall, and will put them in a way similar to this.  I want them to be pretty cohesive in color, so I'm thinking of making them all either white or black.  I'm not sure yet.  We have the letters to spell out the word HOME, and I want to incorporate those as well.  I can't wait to see how it all turns out.  Pinterest has been my favorite pastime this week. 

You can go and look for me on there: jenlloydgoodwin is my username. 

As for that wall above the couch, I don't like what I did last week and I'm changing it again, but using a couple of the old windows they were going to throw away from this install.  Toddley cleaned them up for me, and I'm going to hang those on either side of a new canvas we bought last week...but I may not keep that canvas above the couch.  I may put it somewhere else.  I'm still thinking on this.  I've gotten inspired from binge watching Home Town on HGTV all this week.  Anyone else kinda over everything farmhouse and love this show and her eclectic design style?  Just me?  Mmmk. 

It's fun, changing things up, and I've loved getting a little creative. 

Aside from house stuff, this past Sunday night, the choir and orchestra from my church went to another church to lead their worship at a rally type event they had.  Anytime we get to go outside the walls of my church and lead worship like that is my favorite thing.  It was phenomenal.  I only almost hyperventilated one time, when I became aware of how trapped I was and how hot it was in that moment.  I got past it, though, no worries.

All those people whose backs of the heads you see were in front of me.  I was in the top row, and I seriously thought I was going to have a panic attack for a few moments.  I am extremely claustrophobic, so I had to just stop singing and sip on my water to calm down.  And I prayed.  I really didn't want to faint in front of all those people.  Shout out to my hubby who was part of the awesome tech team that set up all this for us.  He, Jeremy, Tom, and Ryan spent all day Sunday here preparing for this event, and they made us sound really really good.  I'm always amazed by their talent. 

Another favorite moment of mine is from yesterday.  I had to go in to our church to do some work on a big event the women's ministry has coming up soon, and I was in this room talking with some sweet ladies who are in there with me every week when I go in and do this.  One of them was telling me how she did something on a website and made something else look pretty, like an email that will be sent to all the ladies in our church, and she told me that when she does that, she prays first and then she always finds almost exactly what she's looking for.  I love that so much, that when I got to my car, I started thanking God for allowing me to be surrounded by such people.  That is so encouraging to hear someone say that, and each week when I go into this room for this meeting of sorts, I always leave with a huge smile on my face.  I have grown to know and love these women I work with and I couldn't be more thankful. 

I always leave so encouraged.  These Thursdays are designed for training on the platform we use at the church for events and any kind of request, like for a promotional thing or to reserve a room for a meeting.  It's intensive training, and I watched several hours of videos, but Thursdays are set aside for two hours each week, with the two ladies who do all the training.  I have come to love these days, though, and it's fun getting to learn something new and make my brain useful again for something work related.  Because it's been a hot minute.  And believe it or not, writing on this blog for years has made me have some knowledge of techy things.  When she was talking about html codes, I knew what she was talking about, because I've changed that on this blog before, when I used to use different fonts.  Who knew that a blog would help me all these years later?! 

It's been a good week.  I am looking forward to tomorrow, when we go pick out paint samples.  I'm not looking forward to the painting process, but hopefully it'll happen quickly.  That's about all we have planned for this weekend, me at least.  I'm not sure what everyone else is up to. 

Thanks for reading!  Love to all. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

update on the house

This week, on Monday afternoon, we started the whole new window installation process.  I have so many things to say about this, but it's been the best and easiest process to date.  We're using a local man who owns his own small business (I always love this!), and he is the kindest, timeliest man.  He says they'll be here at 7:30, he is here right on time.  We didn't expect this yesterday, and we were slightly unprepared, but today that wasn't the case.  I have his information for anyone who needs it, I can't say enough about him and his employee that sometimes comes to help him.

Here what I walked into on Monday.  I had gone to work for a bit at our church, then came home and packed a to go lunch, and went to my friend Abbey's house to eat and catch up.

We thought about doing one large window here, instead of three small ones, but who knew that was such a price difference.  I love our new ones, though!  Here is what it looks like today.

They're the kind that open from the top and the bottom for easy cleaning, and they have very unnoticeable screens, which we love, because in the sixteen years we've lived here, we've been unable to open the windows (the previous owners had painted them all shut).  We love to do this when it's cool outside and have already had them open a lot.  We went with windows with panes on the front and side, but on the back, we went with the ones with no panes.  Secretly, I wish we had gone with no panes all over, but it's too late to change it now.  He installed these three on Monday afternoon, and yesterday, he and his employee installed nine.  There are seven more today.  After that he has to do some outside work and some of them need replacement panels due to flaws from the manufacturer, but no more reciprocating saw after today!  Insert praise hands emoji.

Jonah took this picture for me yesterday as he was walking outside to leave, and look at how sad our little home is.

They had to take all the shutters and awnings off, because they were all in the way, and Todd gave them the okay to haul them off when they're done.  I think his employee is going to take the awnings and use them for his deer stand.  Todd went ahead and called the man who will be doing our new siding and told him it would be just a few more days.  We're going with gray vinyl siding, which has a lifetime warranty.  (Praise hands again!)  It's called granite, but it's a medium gray color.  I had a small moment last night when I completely changed my mind, but my neighbor was here and talked me back into the gray again.  Our new shutters will be black, the trim and garage doors will remain white, and our front door will be a pop of color, most likely a rich turquoise color.  Here are a couple of colors I'm considering.

This one is Loch Blue, by Sherwin Williams.  I also like this one below, called Oceanside, also S.W.

I want it to be rich and bold looking.  Keep in mind, the siding will be a medium gray.  We won't have an awning over the front door anymore, but my stepdad is building a structure for us to provide porch cover.  We were thinking something with an actual roof with shingles, but we're leaning more to a tin roof covering now, which was my original idea.  Todd was looking at some last night as examples, but here is something similar.

It would be somewhat like this, but with more of a slope on the roof.  Eventually we will want something for the back door as well, but we're waiting on that for now.  We're also replacing and enlarging our deck, so hopefully it will be used more again.  We used to go out there and eat, but the whole things needs to be replaced, because we're not sure of how safe it is anymore.  It's original to the house, so it's time.

It'll be like we have a new house when it's all over and done with!  Which is why I told Todd I would be happy to make this the home we'll be in forever.  There are things we'll do more for the inside eventually, but I'm so glad the biggest items will be done on the outside of the house.  And it's such a great thing having peace of mind about the fact that our pipes have all been replaced.  We've enjoyed the new hot water heater, too, and have all just about scaled ourselves over the temperature difference.

Well, that's about all I've got for now.  I wanted to share about this so I can look back on it someday, and for anyone who is interested.  I feel like we're in the homestretch.  Thanks for reading!  Love to all.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends!  It feels like the first normal Friday in weeks.  My house isn't a train wreck, my dad is coming over for lunch and to hang out, I know (somewhat) my plans for tonight...this is the kind of day that I love. 

I love the month of October.  When September is usually confused about what weather to give us, October is always decidedly more fall feeling, and that makes it my second favorite month.  My first favorite month is December.  Another reason I love this month is because this is the month of our wedding anniversary.  Today, the fourth, is our 23rd. 

This was us last night, celebrating one day early, and those pretty garage doors you see behind us were our early and very expensive present to each other.  Ha!  Not really, but this is the year of our home and us making many, many improvements and updates. 

This is where we ended our night, a stop at my favorite place to shop.  We shopped for new couch pillows, a new painting to hang over our couch, some soap for the downstairs bathroom and a new candle for me.  I also treated myself to some new shirts yesterday from Marshall's, and one of them is what I wore last night.  This green color is one of my new favorites. 

I love a new month, partly because I love a new scripture writing plan.  The theme for this month is one of my favorites. 

Y'all.  A good church sign is one of my favorite things.  I love what this one says!  My friend Missy and I always talk about the subject of being busy, and how so many people wear it like a badge of honor, but it's not!  Satan thrives in our busy-ness, and if we're not careful, we could easily be led astray. 

We're still reading in the New Testament as a church family, and we are in second Timothy this week.  This is one of my favorite books in the New Testament, and I have thoroughly enjoyed all the reading this week. 

I wrote about some hurtful things my boys have been experiencing lately, and it was inspired by this picture I saw in my Facebook memories this week.  It's one of my favorite pictures, and so many of you reached out to me to encourage me about what they're going through.  I appreciate that so much, and it was so sweet of people to share stories with me, about how they knew what it was like, and that they would be praying for them. 

I'll leave you with this last picture, and it's when Drew left home this morning, to report for his first day of clinicals as a nursing student.  Bless him, it's going to be a long day, but Jesus and caffeine will get him through it, I am sure.  The boys all went to the FedEx forum last night to watch the opening night for Tigers basketball, and they didn't get home until about eleven thirty.  I know Drew didn't fall asleep right away, so he's functioning on about four hours of sleep at the most.  That's not an ideal way to start off with clinicals, but he'll survive.  I fully expect him to be passed out at eight thirty tonight. 

Thanks for reading!  I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals, and her friends Erika and Narci, for this blog post.  Y'all have a great weekend!  Love to all. 

Friday Favorites, 7.12.2024.

  Hi, friends! As you can tell, I'm forcing myself to be here often, because my life needs to resume some sort of normalcy right now; th...